Torque and twist against superlubricity

Alexander E. Filippov*, Martin Dienwiebel, Joost W.M. Frenken, Joseph Klafter, Michael Urbakh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Superlubricity between incommensurate surfaces provides a desired low-friction state essential for the function of small-scale machines. Here we demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that superlubricity in contacts lubricated by lamellar solids might be eliminated due to torque-induced reorientation coupled to lateral motion. We find that the possibility of reorientation always leads to stabilization of a high frictional state which corresponds to a commensurate configuration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2008


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